Grade 7 L'École Phoenix students Ashton Bruining

Phoenix students show compassion with fundraisers and awareness campaigns

"When they learned that some children's rights around the world are not respected, that upset them."

Samantha Ogrodnik’s Grade 6 and 7 students at L’École Phoenix were learning about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child this year.

Despite its message of respecting and honouring children’s rights being a positive one, what they learned through their study of the subject was bothersome.

“When they learned that some children’s rights around the world are not respected, that upset them,” Ogrodnik says. “So I gave them a challenge and asked, ‘Well, what are you going to do about it?’”

The result was astounding, she says. The kids formed groups and started working on “Compassion Projects” focused on building awareness and raising funds to support the efforts of various organizations around the world who are fighting for these children’s rights.

Like Grade 7 students Ashton Bruining, Delaney Ewing, Shea Watson, Taylor Ring and Davis Gage, who learned that there are young girls all over the world who were not receiving an education – which they say is something that girls in our society take for granted.

“There are approximately 66 million girls around the world who are denied access to schooling,” the girls told the class during project presentation day, so their idea was to raise money to send one of those girls to school through an initiative they found through their research called Malawi Girls on the Move ( They raised $1,857, which they say covers one girl’s schooling for two years.

The group of Gwenael Chabot, Dominic Bakota, Ruby Mooney and Eora Umemura realized that there are kids out there whose right to healthy, nutritious food is not respected, for various reasons. They set up a bake sale and played music at the Quadra Farmer’s Market and created a website to raise money for Canadian Feed The Children and were able to purchase beekeeping training and startup equipment, invest in teacher training, classroom furniture and school supplies for people in third-world countries.

Some students focused their efforts closer to home.

Natasha Sutherland, Avery Sorensen, Olivia Fagan, Tegan Wheeler, Leah vanDompseler, and Milei Stewart, for example, had a bake sale and freezie fundraiser to raise money for gift baskets for the homeless and children living in poverty right here in Campbell River and delivered them to the Salvation Army Community Lighthouse Centre on Cedar Street.

Emilie Diemer, Madison Puglas, Sierra Falconbridge, and Lindsay Eidsvik kept their fundraising efforts focused on the local area, as well. Their fundraiser was to raise money for the Summer Art Program through Campbell River Family Services.

But who the children chose to support with their efforts was less important than the fact they felt they needed to get involved somehow, Ogrodnik says.

“It’s really wonderful when you see the kids wanting to step up and do something to help when they learn about injustice or social problems,” says Ogrodnik. “They’re very proud of themselves for making a difference, and I’m proud of them for wanting to.”

Just Posted

Family Literacy Week in Campbell River a chance to celebrate play

A few additions to the itinerary from previous years, week-long event ‘shaping up to be super great’

Vancouver Island amateur radio operators now better equipped to help in an emergency

More courses starting soon for those interested in helping SRD communicate after a major event

Campbell River-area First Nation chief steps down due to health

After serving five terms as Chief of the Wei Wai Kum Nation,… Continue reading

Report: City of Campbell River needs a maintenance plan for Nunns Creek Nature Trust

Extensive ecological inventory shows both the good and the bad of city-leased lands downtown

Campbell River Fire Department douses truck fire on Inland Island Highway

A driver pulled over when the engine in his truck started smoking… Continue reading

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Gas plants verdict coming down today; ex-premier’s top aides to learn fate

Verdict to be delivered on senior staff to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Most Read